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Lauren Sprieser

April 25, 2010

Planning Ahead

I'm one of those type-A folks who really, REALLY loves to plan ahead, in sort of a sickening way. I'm learning to be able to roll with the punches - I'm good with the horse stuff, the life stuff not so much - but I like having a goal, an end result to strive for, and I like having a plan to get there.

Since the many variations of The 2011 Plan, depending on which horses are ready for what level, all include competing in several CDIs. And that means that The 2011 Plan involves at least a short stay in Wellington, Florida.

April 22, 2010

Mr. Schumacher Comes To Washington

OHMYGOD. Ella is flipping amazing. What did I do in another life to deserve a horse like this?

(I think it goes without saying that our Conrad Schumacher clinic was pretty awesome.)

April 14, 2010

It Takes A Village, Part Two

My team is like my family. And fortunately for me, I have a BIG family! My sponsors are up and down the East Coast and into the Midwest, so I have a big support network that spans from Michigan to Pennsylvania, New Hampshire to Tennessee, with a few places in between. Thank God for the Internet. I’m able to keep in touch with them from anywhere I go. Some of my sponsors I’ve never even met, something I very much hope I get to change.

April 12, 2010

VADA/Nova, Day 3

Another beautiful day at the horse show, and another good pony day. Fender found his second wind and was a TERRIFIC boy in his training 3 class, minus the first and last centerlines, where he channeled his inner Salinero and halted in several interesting (and mobile) yoga positions to the tune of a 5 each time. Whoops. Everything else was 7 and 8 for a 69.6 percent and second place, just off the pace.

April 11, 2010

VADA/Nova, Day 2

Good ponies all around today! Poor Fender worked very hard on Friday, as it was viciously windy and he had quite a bit of whee...which meant he was pretty schnookered yesterday. I've never found the bottom of him at home, but he can get very tired at the shows. Just overwhelmed, I think. We did training 3, and he was quiet and obedient and fairly supple but had very little go and was really squirrely in the contact. He's not so reliable in really TAKING the right rein anyway, but he struggles with it more when he's not in front of me enough.

April 11, 2010

VADA/Nova, Day 1

Another weekend, another horse show. This one's the VADA/Nova Spring Dressage at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va., less than 1½ hours from the farm, which is an easy commute.

April 7, 2010

A Busy Visit From Colleen

Where does the time go? Isn’t it still February?
Colleen, my wonderful sponsor and friend from Advanced Saddle Fit, came down for a saddle fit clinic and consultations, something she does a few times a year. I LOVE Colleen’s visits—I love Colleen, of course, but like any Mom figure Colleen always tells me a) my horses look great (they do), and b) I’ve lost weight (not so much).

March 29, 2010

Williamston, Day 4

I had a plan for Ella. Very little warm-up, just walk-trot-canter and a little piaffe-passage. She felt terrific, and we walked over to Ring 1 for my test.

SUPRISE! I'm not riding in Ring 1. I'm riding in Ring 2, the indoor arena, in which Ella has never set foot. So now the test is really on: Can Ella not only stay with me through two consecutive competition days, and after only a little warm-up, but can she do it in a scary, strange arena?

Why yes, yes she can, to the tune of 71.8 percent. Woohoo!

March 28, 2010

Williamston, Day 3

What a day, what a day, what a day! Ella and Midge, both in my care and training from the beginning of their competitive training, made HUGE career leaps today, and both were superstars!

Midge put in a lovely, fluid, conservative, but very rideable, Developing Horse test—similar to the Prix St. Georges and ridden in a tailcoat. He was a little tight, but mostly he was backed off on the very dead, hard footing, and I should have ridden more forward as a result, but I didn't until the last few movements.

March 27, 2010

Williamston, Day 2

I'm not sure what I did in a previous life to deserve the horses I've got, but it must have been awfully good.

My day started with Ella, who was a bit of a nutter yesterday. Today, she said, “Oh, right, be a rockstar dressage horse. Sorry. OK!” And said YES! to every question I asked of her—half-pass left, nice corners right, ones, canter pirouettes, and passage-piaffe-passage.

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